What would you cut from v1 to accelerate its release?

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What would you cut from v1 to accelerate its release?

Postby mcsven » Fri Apr 08, 2016 2:51 am

OK, time for a hypothetical.

As per the title, what features that we think Josh is working on would you be willing to cut from v1 in order to accelerate its release? Note when I say cut I don't mean "will never appear in LT", I just mean it would come in updates after the game is released - similar to the Kickstarter stretch goals.

So, for instance, I would be quite happy to leave out:

  • Fleet management
  • Research and development
  • Multiple ship ownership
  • An infinite universe
  • Realistic marketplace
  • Ship designer
I'd imagine that may raise some eyebrows, but what I'm aiming at is Freelancer + improved graphics + new PCG universe for each game + PCG ships and weapons that are routinely updated in-game + decent faction interactions + interesting missions and NPCs.

I think that would be an awesome base for LT to build on with future expansions.

Hit me with your views. Please don't go full "but he promised!" - I know. But reality is that the release is still uncertain and some realism about what the community would accept may be useful. So please just stick with what you'd happily see cut.
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Re: What would you cut from v1 to accelerate its release?

Postby Baile nam Fonn » Fri Apr 08, 2016 6:04 am

If that were to be Limit Theory 1.0, I think I'd be happy enough to wait for the expansion(s) / updates to add in all but the Ship Designer before buying in.

Ah, but who am I kidding?! :lol: My hype for Jolin's tracks + JP's nebula & planet & rails generation would easily be enough to tip me into an impulse buy (up to $30 CDN). :squirrel:
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Re: What would you cut from v1 to accelerate its release?

Postby Mistycica » Fri Apr 08, 2016 6:08 am

All of what you listed are integral parts of the game though - it would take more to remove them than to polish and include them. Multiship ownership, fleet management, and marketplace come intrinsically from the AI, which is one of the core assets, they just need a UI. R&D are sort of in the same boat. Ship designer and infinite universe are part of the procedural generation, also core parts of the game. Starting to strip them from each other is extremely counter-intuitive.

LT needs a stellar launch, not an engine tech demo. Better to be a gem with amazing delays than yet another early access 'it will be good in 12 months I swear' piece.

Additionally, Freelancer is a dated game at this point, no matter how strong it stood in its time. I definitely don't want to play Freelancer with flashier graphics and promised updates. If LT cannot bring the feature set of the newer X games, it will just not be worth bothering with imo, to me it would be as if it didn't release. Static markets are unacceptable, for example.


What I want in this game is
- a comfortable flight model and combat,
- a varied PCG landscape,
- realistic markets with the ability to manipulate them in creative ways (piracy, embargo),
- an extremely robust R&D+logistics system reminiscent of Aurora (okay, this one is more of a pipe dream),
- a strong AI able to take advantage of faction play, r&d, and playing the markets,
- an ability to do anything the AI and the PCG engine can, including ship design, large scale command, and faction ownership.

These are all extremely tightly tied together, and are the basis of a fun sandbox. Anything less would feel unsatisfactory. What I don't care about is:

- graphics - style over flashiness, extremely simple models would do it with the right presentation.
- story and characters - it's a single-man sandbox show, and missions are part of AI already, no more required.
- release date - I'm past caring, will come whenever, I just want it to tickle my fancies.


Might be harsh, but I'm emotionally invested in the game, I want it to be a game I can and want to play, not an engine and promises someone else can mod :v
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Re: What would you cut from v1 to accelerate its release?

Postby mcsven » Fri Apr 08, 2016 6:44 am

I respect those views, though I don't necessarily agree with them all. However the question is: what would you cut, not what do you want...

From my point of view, Freelancer may be dated - but you know what, it allowed a degree of pick-up-and-playness that modern space games don't. I own X games... and have never played them. They're just too intimidating for the novice; the "get start in X Reunion" document was a massive PDF and, frankly, I'm at the age where I just can't be bothered learning all those mechanics.

I will speak about one particular thing: the dynamic marketplace. I am conflicted about this to be honest. It feels like another one of those things that well all think we want... and then we get it and realise that it may actually decrease the fun because it means that trade routes aren't necessarily stable. There's nothing quite as frustrating as planning a run, building the cash, buying the cargo and arriving only to find the price has recently depressed because some in-game event just wiped it out. So it's not immediately obvious that I want it. Perhaps when I play the game I may change my mind.
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Re: What would you cut from v1 to accelerate its release?

Postby Baile nam Fonn » Fri Apr 08, 2016 6:54 am

mcsven wrote:I will speak about one particular thing: the dynamic marketplace. I am conflicted about this to be honest. It feels like another one of those things that well all think we want... and then we get it and realise that it may actually decrease the fun because it means that trade routes aren't necessarily stable. There's nothing quite as frustrating as planning a run, building the cash, buying the cargo and arriving only to find the price has recently depressed because some in-game event just wiped it out. So it's not immediately obvious that I want it. Perhaps when I play the game I may change my mind.

Here's where I counter that: true, an unforseeable and ambiguous event curb-stomping my big trade investment would be frustrating.
But if it's all tied in plausibly with observable events in the relevant systems? I'd like to think that I would be prepared to gasp out a deflated "touché!" and resolve to be more attuned to my target market.
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Re: What would you cut from v1 to accelerate its release?

Postby Poet1960 » Fri Apr 08, 2016 8:36 am

Um....what part of a Rembrandt would you cut out, just so you could get it faster? Just hypothetical.
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Re: What would you cut from v1 to accelerate its release?

Postby BFett » Fri Apr 08, 2016 8:45 am

I'd be willing to postpone all planned features which have not had any coding time spent on them. This includes:

Oculus Rift VR Support
Importing / exporting of ship designs and sharing them with other players
Automated turrets (On stations and other structures)
Tracking of discoveries (which may be already implemented)

I also wouldn't mind seeing the following partially implemented features left out of initial release:

Planet Colonization
Faction Creation and Ownership
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Re: What would you cut from v1 to accelerate its release?

Postby Cornflakes_91 » Fri Apr 08, 2016 9:14 am

mcsven wrote:I respect those views, though I don't necessarily agree with them all. However the question is: what would you cut, not what do you want...


and you cant cut any of those things you mentioned in a way that would speed up any development :P

how would you cut multiple ship ownership and fleet management for the player without cutting them for the AI and thus cutting pretty much... anything interesting from the game?

how would you cut the realistic market without having to rebuild pretty much all the game because everything builds on the fact that nothing is faked or spawned in LT?

what would drive the universe if not the market?


mcsven wrote:From my point of view, Freelancer may be dated - but you know what, it allowed a degree of pick-up-and-playness that modern space games don't. I own X games... and have never played them. They're just too intimidating for the novice; the "get start in X Reunion" document was a massive PDF and, frankly, I'm at the age where I just can't be bothered learning all those mechanics.


you could just have tried to play XR instead of trying to understand the whole game at once :P


mcsven wrote:I will speak about one particular thing: the dynamic marketplace. I am conflicted about this to be honest. It feels like another one of those things that well all think we want... and then we get it and realise that it may actually decrease the fun because it means that trade routes aren't necessarily stable. There's nothing quite as frustrating as planning a run, building the cash, buying the cargo and arriving only to find the price has recently depressed because some in-game event just wiped it out. So it's not immediately obvious that I want it. Perhaps when I play the game I may change my mind.


and now look at the other side of the same occurrence:

you are at war with a nearby faction ((economic or military)) you find out that a certain station is an important trade hub for them and decide to take it out of the loop, you succeed and with that station missing now you see that the factions economics are in disarray because of that loss.
((for example that trader who gathered the funds for his big trade tour to the station now sits on his stuff without a way to sell it...))

with your limitations it would either be impossible to destroy the station, or the destruction would have no effect on the surrounding economy because it all is static.

which is even more unfun than some of my planned trades not panning out as expected.
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Re: What would you cut from v1 to accelerate its release?

Postby Victor Tombs » Fri Apr 08, 2016 9:15 am

Several times before I've said I would have settled for a straight replacement of the original Freelancer game without any of the extras but including the modern graphics style of Josh and the awesome new soundtrack of François. I knew from a very early point in development that's not what I was going to get. :angel:

As long as I can still feel the same elation with LT as I did with Freelancer I can live with whatever LT has become/will be. My only dread is that Josh, in his attempts to provide a game that is more to his liking, somehow delivers a game which is lacking in the simplicity he espouses and ends up being an overly complex mess.

I still trust the coding warrior to deliver on his promises and hope that in the intervening years the changes time brings to a person have not robbed him of his capacity to see his original goal for the game. :angel:

And by one of his original tenets that would include it being fun to play. :mrgreen:
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Re: What would you cut from v1 to accelerate its release?

Postby mcsven » Fri Apr 08, 2016 9:59 am

Thanks to BFett and Victor for, you know, answering the question. :thumbup:

Cornflakes wrote:and you cant cut any of those things you mentioned in a way that would speed up any development

Bah, don't waste my time with obvious nonsense. Notwithstanding the fact that you know nothing of the state of the codebase, of course reducing features shortens development time. Besides, this is not about feasibility, about which only Josh is informed, it's about hard choices.

So, for the third time: what are you willing to cut?
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Re: What would you cut from v1 to accelerate its release?

Postby mcsven » Fri Apr 08, 2016 10:04 am

Victor Tombs wrote:Several times before I've said I would have settled for a straight replacement of the original Freelancer game without any of the extras but including the modern graphics style of Josh and the awesome new soundtrack of François. I knew from a very early point in development that's not what I was going to get. :angel:

As long as I can still feel the same elation with LT as I did with Freelancer I can live with whatever LT has become/will be. My only dread is that Josh, in his attempts to provide a game that is more to his liking, somehow delivers a game which is lacking in the simplicity he espouses and ends up being an overly complex mess.

You and I are of a mind.
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Re: What would you cut from v1 to accelerate its release?

Postby IronDuke » Fri Apr 08, 2016 10:05 am

What do I want in LT?
Whatever Josh puts in it.
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Re: What would you cut from v1 to accelerate its release?

Postby Victor Tombs » Fri Apr 08, 2016 10:09 am

mcsven wrote:You and I are of a mind.


Yes we are, mcsven. ;) :angel:
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Re: What would you cut from v1 to accelerate its release?

Postby Dinosawer » Fri Apr 08, 2016 11:37 am

mcsven wrote:Bah, don't waste my time with obvious nonsense. Notwithstanding the fact that you know nothing of the state of the codebase,

Well, we do know what he's shown us in the dev video's...
mcsven wrote: of course reducing features shortens development time.

If they are systemically linked with other features, and you have to redesign half your game to leave them out, then no, it does not necessarily reduce dev time.
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Re: What would you cut from v1 to accelerate its release?

Postby Cornflakes_91 » Fri Apr 08, 2016 11:40 am

mcsven wrote:Bah, don't waste my time with obvious nonsense.


you could spend your time with answering what im asking you instead of just saying that im wrong

mcsven wrote:Notwithstanding the fact that you know nothing of the state of the codebase, of course reducing features shortens development time. Besides, this is not about feasibility, about which only Josh is informed, it's about hard choices.


then explain me how your cuts woundt open up more questions than they answer?
you just gone "your are spouting bullshit" without answering any questions that should be easy to answer if they are "obvious"

also im not talking about code in all but one point, but im talking about game design.

how would you close the gaps that you open up with your cuts and still have a reduction in total time needed?


mcsven wrote:So, for the third time: what are you willing to cut?



none of the things you proposed because they would all break the game :P
except maybe the limited universe thing, but that would either be no change in development time at all or would necessitate rewriting the universe sim afterwards to enable the infinite universe.


mcsven wrote:Fleet management [...] Multiple ship ownership


how would the universe work then, game design wise?

the Full NPC's are too much to handle in large amounts, so we have to include subordination of lesser AI to greater AI to populate the universe with something.

mcsven wrote:Research and development
[...]
PCG ships and weapons that are routinely updated in-game


aha, contradiction much?

where to seed the updated equipment to?
who produces it at the beginning?
how does it go from being only available at a single point to being ubiquitous and "normal" like the old equipment?

by answering that questions you are right back at things that are only a spit away from a market and R&D sim, so nothing gained there.





also: what Ninjasawer said
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